Well, we’ve hit the halfway point of this road trip, and we’re about to have some fun. Ry Cooder, the great American musician, music historian and slide-guitar genius is joining the trip for a few days, starting tomorrow. I’ve been a fan of Ry’s work for nearly 40 years–back in the days when I worked for Rolling Stone and wrote my biography of Woody Guthrie. I loved his discovery of Flaco Jimenez, the great Tex-Mex accordian player and later, his rediscovery of the Buena Vista Social Club. He also did the music for the film version of Primary Colors–he has an album of political songs, Election Special, about to be released. But we’ve never met and Ry has a fiddle-player in Dayton he wants me to meet.
After Ry leaves, Danny Strong arrives. Danny wrote the screenplays for two memorable HBO films about politics, Recount and this year’s Game Change. I think he understands the rhythms and subtleties of politics better than just about anyone trying to recreate it fictionally these days.
Today’s playlist below:
1. “Senor Blues” by Taj Mahal
2. “Somewhere in Time” by Los Lobos with Dave Alvin
3. “That’s All Right, Mama” by Paul McCartney (covering Elvis, of course)
4. “Norwegian Wood” by The Fiery Furnaces (covering the Beatles, of course, on my favorite Beatles cover album, This Bird Has Flown)
5. “How You Like Me Now” by The Heavy (a great song that you can hear on lots of commercials these days)